Last year Bristol Palin penned a memoir and now it's her ex-boyfriend's turn. In Deer In The Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs, Levi Johnston tells his side of the story and, unsurprisingly, the Palin clan does not come off very well.
The Alaskan native -- who dreams of one day opening up a guide business -- details a dysfunctional Palin household and an ex-girlfriend who was desperate to get pregnant. Johnston scoffs at Bristol's claims that Sarah Palin's grandson, Tripp, was conceived on a drunken camping trip and writes, "I can't just make up a bunch of crap to match her lies. I can only give you what actually happened."
HuffPost: Why did you decide to write this book?
Levi Johnston: Everybody was kind of talking about me for the last couple of years and I figured it's time for me to start talking for myself, not only for myself but for my family and my son, Tripp, for when he's old enough to understand everything.
HuffPost: Do you feel like you’ve been unfairly maligned in the press?
Johnston: There's been a lot of negative things said. It's not all bad, there's been some good stuff, but the bad stuff, that's coming from people who don't know me and are writing stuff to make a buck.
HuffPost: You write that Bristol wanted to get pregnant.
Johnston: Bristol was on birth control for a long time. She got off it soon after Trig [Sarah Palin's son] was born. I think Trig was a big motivator for her. Her mother just had a child and I think Bristol was really jealous. She was the one who was supposed to have that kid and that's when she got off of [birth control]. We weren't practicing safe sex and she ended up getting pregnant.
HuffPost: What do you mean she was the one meant to have it?
Johnston: We'd always talked about a kid. We'd been dating for several years. I think it kind of hurt her because she really wanted a kid so bad and seeing her mom have another one really made her want a kid now.
HuffPost: You say that Sarah kept Trig's pregnancy a secret until the seventh month.
Johnston: Yes, she kept it very secret. Willow had actually found the pregnancy stick in her bedroom. That's when we all found out because she went around telling everybody. Bristol and the whole family was hurt that their mother couldn't share that with them. Keeping it away from your own family is kind of messed up.
HuffPost: Describe Sarah and Todd's marriage.
Johnston: I'm no marriage counselor here but I had a mother and father growing up my whole life. [The Palins] were completely, 100 percent different from my family. They rarely spoke to each other, they never had family meals. I never saw them really do anything together unless the cameras were on and then they played an American family. Todd always slept on the couch, never in Sarah's room, that I've seen.
HuffPost: Did you like Sarah initially?
Johnston: She acted like she loved me, that I was one of her sons. She treated me like a son when everything was good between me and Bristol. Later on, when I was getting older, I was finding out that Todd was offering Bristol a car to break up with me and all kinds of stuff but they would never say it to me.
HuffPost: What was it like going to the Republican National Convention?
Johnston: I was very nervous. I'd just come out of a hunting trip and getting phone calls from Bristol. I didn't want to go and finally Sarah gets on the phone and pretty much makes me go. I was nervous and scared and they pretty much paraded us around and told us what to do. You're kind of living your life for somebody else. It's just a whole different world.
HuffPost: Had McCain and Palin won, you know you would have gotten married.
Johnston: Oh yes. If she would have won, I'd be in a whole different position now. It's something else to think about.
HuffPost: Bristol tried changing Tripp's last name to Palin.
Johnston: She tried to do a little something about that but it didn't fall through.
HuffPost: What do you say to charges that you don't pay child support?
Johnston: I paid child support for a long time. I kind of went into a spell where I wasn't making as much money as I was and I wasn't seeing my son. We're back on it and I’m paying it again.
HuffPost: How often do you see Tripp?
Johnston: Not as often as I'd like to. I'd like to have him all the time but it just doesn't really work that way.
HuffPost: So once a month?
Johnston: About that. I haven't seen him in some time now but I should start seeing him more when I get off this book tour. I'll be back home and it'll be more stable.
HuffPost: How often do you and Bristol speak?
Johnston: Not very often and when I do it's just about Tripp. There's not a whole lot of friendliness going on when we talk.
HuffPost: Do you feel like the two of you are going to be battling for the rest of your lives?
Johnston: Yeah, it's going to be a long 30 years of my life or so. I don't think it's ever going to end. I guess I only have until he's 18 before he makes his own choices.
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